Aggressive and Scared Chicken

angelinagreena

In the Brooder
Oct 26, 2020
24
73
46
Tennessee
Hello everyone! I am new to backyard chickens and am still learning a lot but could use some advice. One of our 6-month old buff cochin pullets (aka Esmerelda) is very aggressive with our other pullets (mix of buff cochins, white wyandottes, rose combed brown leghorns, and one black minorca), yet shy's away from our cockerel (aka Barry, who is also a rose combed brown leghorn). We have 12 total females in our flock, with a huge run and coop. Esmerelda is the only one that doesn't go into the run because Barry will chase her. She stays in the coop all day guarding it and attacks (bites, not pecks) most of the other pullets that come in for egg laying (the only one she doesn't attack as frequently is our black minorca). She is also the biggest chicken we have. If she attacks one of the other girls, Barry runs up to the coop porch to rescue his lady being attacked, and Esmerelda scurries away and hides. As a matter of fact, anytime Barry is within a few feet of her, she makes a peeping noise and runs and hides. At night, Esmerelda is in the coop roosting with everyone else, with Barry at the very top.

Initially I thought Esmerelda was also a cockerel when I fist observed this behavior (she and Barry used to "battle" over the last couple of months as they were maturing and Esmerelda would usually win), but we solved that mystery because she's an egg layer! 😜

Any advice that you may have will be very helpful, I just want everyone to get along and especially don't want anyone to be stressed. I know there is enough space as well, so that shouldn't be an issue.
 
Last edited:

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
87,695
105,704
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SW Michigan
My Coop
Did they all just start laying...and is this when this behavior start?
Is the bully laying?
She might need to go...13 is an unlucky number(just kidding).
 

angelinagreena

In the Brooder
Oct 26, 2020
24
73
46
Tennessee
Did they all just start laying...and is this when this behavior start?
Is the bully laying?
She might need to go...13 is an unlucky number(just kidding).
They did all start laying over the last month. Her behavior seems to be getting worse with the other girls, but she's not actively hunting them or anything. Just nipping at them when they get in her space. I actually counted wrong, haha! We have 12 pullets and a cockerel(used to have 13 pullets but unfortunately lost one a couple months ago).
 

angelinagreena

In the Brooder
Oct 26, 2020
24
73
46
Tennessee
If she's not blocking their access to nests, feed, water, I'd just let it play out.
Or you could give her a time out in a crate for all or most the day.
I was thinking of putting her and Barry in a time out! haha Thank you for the advice :)
 

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